After two of the worst seasons in franchise history, the Los Angeles Lakers have decided to part ways with head coach Byron Scott. The team’s front office had been reportedly deliberating on whether to fire Scott since the end of the 2015-16 NBA season on April 13, but the consensus seemed to be that he would be retained for at least one more season.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical on April 24, Scott has been informed he won’t be returning for a third season with the Lakers:
The Los Angeles Lakers fired coach Byron Scott, league sources told The Vertical.
Scott had two team options left on his contract, but the Lakers told Scott on Sunday that he won’t be returning for a third season as head coach, league sources told The Vertical.
In two seasons with the Lakers, Scott failed to make much of an impression leading the team to the two worst finishes in franchise history. Scott ends his two-year stint with the team sporting a 38-126 record and the distinction as another head coach that couldn’t right the ship after Phil Jackson.
The team will now look for a viable replacement with limited options. Tom Thibodeau and Scott Brooks were considered to be the top two coaching candidates in the league heading into the NBA playoffs, but neither coach lasted long with vacancies around the league needing to be filled.
Thibodeau is now the new head coach and team president for the Minnesota Timberwolves while Brooks agreed to become the leader on the sideline for the Washington Wizards on a lucrative five-year deal. Now that Thibodeau and Brooks are off the table, Luke Walton becomes the attractive choice for the Lakers. Other notable candidates include Ettore Messina, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson, and Kevin Ollie.
Shortly after the news broke of Scott’s firing, the official statement from the team was sent out. Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak made the following statement in the team’s press release about parting ways with Scott:
EL SEGUNDO – The Los Angeles Lakers have decided not to pick up the option for the 2016-17 season on the contract for Head Coach Byron Scott, it was announced tonight.
“We would like to thank Byron for his hard work, dedication and loyalty over the last two years, but have decided it is in the best interest of the organization to make a change at this time,” said General Manager Mitch Kupchak.
The search for a new head coach will begin immediately.